Tongue scrapers are small, flexible plastic devices that are used to help clean bacteria off of the tongue. The rough surface of the tongue harbors nearly 90% of all odor-causing bacteria in the entire mouth. Toothbrushes remove a small portion of this odorous bacteria, but the tiny papilla on the tongue make it difficult to remove all of it. Instead, the firm plastic scraper is used to remove a visible large amount of bacteria that will have you convinced that you’ll need to use it a few times each day.
To use a tongue scraper, place it at the back of the tongue and use moderate pressure as you pull it forward toward the front of the mouth. After one swipe, have a look to see just how much bacteria has been removed! Rinse the scraper off, and repeat these steps 2 or 3 more times.
Your mouth will feel much fresher after using a tongue scraper. The oral hygiene device can be used for a long period of time as long as it is cleaned regularly. Many different shapes, styles, and textures are available over the counter or at your dental office.
Removing bacteria from the tongue will only do so much. Other odorous bacteria hide under the gumlines, especially in patients with active gum disease. See your hygienist for routine cleanings twice each year. If you have periodontal disease, a deep cleaning may be needed to fully remove all of the plaque biofilm from your mouth. Allergies and sinus drainage can also contribute to bad breath. Ask your dentist or hygienist about fresh breath options that would work best for you.
Posted on the behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental
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